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Fall Exhibitions at Esker Foundation

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Mary Anne Barkhouse, Treats for Coyote (detail), 2017. Courtesy the artist and the Koffler Gallery, Toronto. Photo by Rafael Goldchain.

Mary Anne Barkhouse
Le rêve aux loups
September 16 to December 22, 2017
Guest curated by Jennifer Rudder

Le rêve aux loups (The Dream of Wolves) by Kwakiutl artist Mary Anne Barkhouse is the largest survey exhibition of her work to date. The exhibition brings together recent sculptural and installation works and works from major museum collections along with the creation of five new works.

Barkhouse’s artistic practice is deeply engaged with environmental and Indigenous issues, and reflects on the historical and continued influence of empire on peoples, animal populations, and the land.

Barkhouse situates her work between the two worlds of the human and the natural, with the visual iconography of animals playing a central role. She employs the beaver, raven, wolf, coyote, and coywolf as symbols of the ability to adapt and persist, regenerate and repair, throughout endless incursions into their environs. The works also reflect on our skewed experience of nature that is treated as a resource for human needs rather than an ecosystem with its own intrinsic value.

For this exhibition, Barkhouse has expanded the scope of her practice with the creation of three new works that respond both to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report and the horrific legacy of the Residential School system. Two of these works are part of the new sculptural series Aerie that positions baby birds of prey and bird figures inspired by mythological creatures of the Northwest Coast, such as a Thunderbird, inside what Barkhouse terms “child containment units”: a Victorian wicker pram and an iron crib. The series is inspired by photographs of her mother and friends taken by a fellow student at St.Michael’s residential school in Alert Bay, B.C.

Barkhouse’s artworks place wild animal inhabitants of the land within the flamboyant furnished interiors of the Sun King, Louis XIV of France, revealing the transitory nature of empire, and highlighting both the triumphs and betrayals that delineate history north of the 49th parallel. Indeed, in this exhibition the animals have taken over the parlour, begging the questions: “Who owns this land?” and “Who is the intruder?”

Le rêve aux loups originated at the Koffler Gallery, Toronto.

Read more about the exhibition here.


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Postcommodity, stills from A Very Long Line, 2016. Photos courtesy of Postcommodity and Bockley Gallery.

Postcommodity
A Very Long Line
September 16 - December 22, 2017

A Very Long Line by artist collective Postcommodity is an immersive four-channel video and sound installation comprised of four screens of moving images featuring desert landscapes, framed by the constant presence of a fence.

Filmed along a portion of the border between Douglas, Arizona and Agua Prieta in Sonora, we see variations of the border fence with surrounding neighbourhoods and landscapes. The fence is a moving blur on all sides, rushing past the viewer at varying speeds, amid a jarring, dissonant soundtrack composed by the artists. Portions of the Southwestern landscape, both rural and urban, are visible through the fence, prompting concerns about the border’s impact not only on people, but also on the surrounding ecosystems. More suggestive than it is descriptive, A Very Long Line evokes not only the U.S.-Mexico border, but also the broader nexus of borders and boundaries that structure our lives, both real and imagined, seen and unseen.

Comprised of Raven Chacon, Cristóbal Martínez, and Kade L. Twist, Postcommodity creates work that subverts mainstream social, economic, and political ideologies through an Indigenous lens. A Very Long Line is one part of a broader, transdisciplinary conversation on the complexity of the exchanges, dialogues, and conflicts that occur between, across, and beside the U.S.-Mexico border and the Indigenous communities that have resided in the area before and after the border’s establishment.

Read more about the exhibition here.


In the Project Space:

Making Treaty 7: Finding Common Ground
Jill Allan, Derek Beaulieu, Tamara Lee-Anne Cardinal, Chris Cran, Amanda Fox, Micheline Maylor, Keegan Starlight, Andrew Tarrant, and George Webber.
July 31 - October 22, 2017

This Project Space exhibition is a rotating presentation of works produced in response to the Making Treaty 7 Cultural Society’s Common Ground Dinner Series. Over twelve weeks, each of the works created in response to the Dinner Series has been displayed in the Project Space in rotating groupings. Based on the Making Treaty 7 methodology, this dinner series explored the theme of The Land through eight sub-themes: Energy, Agriculture, Education, Law, Culture, Borders, Safety and Security, and Medicine.

Read more about this exhibition here.


Esker Foundation provides free public programming created in response to, and in tandem with our current exhibitions. Programs include artist talks, workshops, film screenings, field trips, tours, and family programs. Information on all our public programs can be found at http://eskerfoundation.com/program/current/

Some highlights include:

Treacherous Terrain: A History of the U.S.-Mexico Border, talk by Dr. Mary E Mendoza
Thursday, September 28th, 7-8pm

The U.S.-Mexico border is a controversial place that has changed dramatically over the past century. Once an open range, the border has transformed into a place made up of fences, roads, checkpoints, and other infrastructure meant to curb unsanctioned migration across the international boundary line. This talk will discuss how and why the border has changed over time, as well as how both human migration and the natural environment have played a critical role in that process.

r/Evolution: Exhibition Tour with artist Mary Anne Barkhouse and guest curator Jennifer Rudder
Friday 10 November, 7-8:30pm

Join artist Mary Anne Barkhouse and guest curator Jennifer Rudder as they address historical and contemporary notions around land from a Western and Indigenous point of view. Engage in a discussion about the role of the animal and avian inhabitants of Le rêve aux loups as guides to our evolving world.


Admission to the exhibition and programs at Esker Foundation are free of charge.
For full exhibition details visit www.eskerfoundation.com or phone 403-930-2490


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Esker Foundation
4th floor, 1011 9 Avenue S.E.
Calgary, Alberta

Telephone: 403 930 2490
info@eskerfoundation.com
www.eskerfoundation.com

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The Esker Foundation is an Accessible art venue.